Art & Max

by David Wiesner

Hardcover, 2010

Call number



Clarion Books (2010), Edition: Illustrated, 40 pages


Max wants to be an artist like Arthur, but his first attempt at using a paintbrush sends the two friends on a whirlwind trip through various media, with unexpected consequences.

User reviews

LibraryThing member jllwlsh
I absolutely loved this book, and would definately have it in my classroom. It is a great way for kids to learn about different genres of art, yet is funny and exciting. It shows an acceptance of whats different, and a friendship that involves patience. These are good lessons for any youngster!
LibraryThing member michelleannlib
Outstanding artwork that throws the typical picture book conventions out the window. The story supports the art, usually it is the other way around in picture books. A unique concept that will appeal to a wide audience.
LibraryThing member BNBHarper
Summary: Art is painting when Max decides that he wants to paint just like Art. Max is not sure what to paint so Art suggest to paint a picture of Art. Max takes Art literally and begins painting all over Art rather than on the paper. Art gets so mad and starts to throw paint all over a cactus.
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Response: I had to read this book quite a few time to figure out what it was about. The first time I read it, I only got that lizards were painting. The more I analyzed it, I began seeing the story line. I think it is funny how Art gets frustrated with Max and loses his temper. Classroom Connection: Discussing an art lesson.
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LibraryThing member Jenpark
This story is about an annoying younger brother-type figure, who wants to paint like the older more experienced character. He ends up causing all kinds of problems, but in the end he invents a new painting style that the older character ends up liking.
LibraryThing member edspicer
Wiesner, David. (2010). Art & Max. Illustrated by the author. Boston: Houghton Mifflin/Clarion. 32 pp. ISBN 978-0-618-75663-6. (Hardcover) $17.99.

David Wiesner’s picture books are treasures! I teach first grade, but I have always dreamed of working with high school students using Flotsam. I would
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love to have high school students write two polar opposite texts about what is happening in this book. Art & Max is another book in which older students will find much to appreciate, especially students who are taking art and exploring different media. Arthur is the older and obviously much wiser art instructor and Max is a young, dumb kid (well, actually a lizard). Arthur is very condescending when Max says he can draw, but allows him to attempt to paint with him. When Max asks Arthur what to paint, Arthur suggests that Max paint Arthur. And Max does, literally! Not only does the book take us through acrylic, pastel, watercolor, and India ink, but it also exposes us to many different styles of art in the details of each page. Art students will have a delicious time finding all the references. Arthur is deconstructed in several senses of the word! And Max learns how to draw him back to order. In the end Arthur becomes Art and Max develops an appreciation for classical artist like Van Gogh. For older readers, the book features a profound exploration of the balance between technique and exuberance, between the skill of an artist and the passion of an artist. I also can’t help but wonder whether this book also includes a very personal statement by Wiesner germane to the need for established artists to explore and take risks outside of his or her own comfort zone.
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LibraryThing member jebrou
In Art & Max, David Wiesner continues a theme present in his other books of thinking outside the box. In this book, a small lizard, named Max, teaches another, more uptight lizard, named Arthur or Art, how to be more creative. Just like the boy in one of his previous books Sector 7, Max forces
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Arthur to think differently about what it means to create art and be an artist. Max brings vibrant colors to the seemingly bland desert surroundings. Here, just as in the other two books, the ordinary is turned to extraordinary.
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LibraryThing member pataustin
Whenever you read a David Wiesner book, there's always more than meets the eye. The basic conflict is between Arthur the artist and Max, a wannabe artist. Wondering aloud what to paint, Max completely misunderstands when Arthur says, "You can paint me." He does -- splattering the lizard with all
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manner of colors. When he tries to undo what havoc he has wrought, the deeper story unfolds -- the complex relation between elements of art -- line, shape, form, space, value, and color. Sure, the color washes away, but then the line begins to unravel until there is no more Art. Taking a line (as all art must start with line), Max recreates Arthur -- and repaints him too, this time alluding to the style of pointillism. So sophisticated.
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LibraryThing member Alyssa.pinkk
Summary: in this book it is about two lizards named max and art that are brothers and like always the little brother is bother the big brother about his painting and wanting him to paint with him. So they end up painting and the big brother ends up really liking and using Max’s painting style.
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Personal: I really liked this book not only because it was in such good structure and a wonderful story for children. I am going to take this with me to work and share with my Pre-K students and hope they catch the story line of being friends and being nice to our siblings.

Classroom extension: art, friendship, creativity, siblings, lizards.
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LibraryThing member zeebreez
Weisner, David. Art & Max. Boston:Clarion Books, 2010. This humourous book has two lizards as the main characters. The illustrations tell the story of a little lizard that wants to paint just like his mentor. But in the process he completely changes his mentor's colors. This book would be good for
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teaching experimental art to children. The text is simple to read. Age group: 6-8 years.
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LibraryThing member asomers
As usual David Wisner is brilliant!
LibraryThing member missamellon
Bright acryllic paints and dialogue are something of a departure for David Weiner, who is known for his wordless watercolors. This entertaining story is something of a peek into the artistic process. It is funny and the characters are charming.
LibraryThing member eghirsch
I really enjoyed the creative and animated illustrations throughout the book. Children will find the book to be very comical because of the illustrations and may the story is told.
LibraryThing member bookcat27
Arthur, also known as Art, is an artist. His friend Max wants to do what Art is doing, which is painting. Art resists at first but then lets Max join him. When Max asks Art what he should paint, Art replies “paint me!” This ends up being a mistake because Max takes him literally and starts to
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throw paint on Art. In the race to get Art back to his original form, Max explores how art can change one’s life and shape. He finally gets Art put back together again as ultimately both of them discover that art can change your life and how you look at things.
This is a wonderful book about art and some basic concepts that an artist uses to create a work of art. We go through several stages, from coming up with an idea or concept, to following through with the execution of the artwork, to the final product.
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LibraryThing member LydiaBree
The story is an adventure about lizards who are artists. One goofy lizard that wants to paint with his more serious friend ends up creating one crazy circumstance after another. In the style on Amelia Bedilia, the wnt-to-be painter misunderstands Art. As a result, Art is painted with a variety of
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colors, washed out, dissolved, and frayed. max ends up recreating him with a new, fresh, and bright style. Art ends up with new insight to the world and a more appreciative outlook.
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LibraryThing member cwoodrow
Art & Max is a very creative and cute picture book. David Weisner does a very good job creating and animating the characters using his artwork. The illustrations in this story are very colorful and expressive, they are what make the story what it is. I think children of all ages would like this
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book and it would be great for an art lesson!
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LibraryThing member laurenwhite92
I really liked the illustrations in this book and the imagination factor. I could see a teacher planning various activities around this book.
LibraryThing member kedwards1991
I really like the whole plot of this story, it is very fun and artistic. The way the author uses the artistic form to literally transform the characters. The illustrations were colorful and very playful, thus inviting children to think about art in terms of line, color, and shape while expanding
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their artistic imaginations.
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LibraryThing member kredlove
I like the inspiration that this book could bring to a child. It helps a child visualize a task to it's end.
LibraryThing member Wakana
This book was funny, although I didn't like it at first. I do not enjoy lizards, so it was uncomfortable to read it until the story line became more interesting. The physical humor would be fun for many boys. I also like how it encourages students to think outside the box. For example, when Art
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suggests to Max that he paints him (Art), Max puts paint right onto Art's body and takes him by surprise, at which point the story goes a different direction than one would have predicted, which includes Art becoming completely undone and invisible! This is such a fun book for kids and would encourage creative writing/thinking.
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LibraryThing member kylak
wonderful artwork, especially the last frame
LibraryThing member RaecheleWanaka

This book is really cute. Arthur is a little set in his ways of how one should paint and Max shows Art just how whimsical it can be and still turn out great. Max is some what unorthodox in his style but after all the mishaps Art comes around. A very fun book to read and look at.
LibraryThing member claireforhan
This book tracks the illustrator's, David Wiesner, creative process. He begins with a crazy lizard, Max, who just wants to paint, and ends up painting his cranky friend, Art. Initially Art is cover in acrylic paint, when this shatters away, he is covered in oil pastels, when this gets blown away,
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he is covered in water color, and when this gets washed away, all that's left is his ink outline- which Max proceeds to unravel.

This book is good for examining different artist materials and learning to loosen up and learn to not take life so seriously.

Classroom Extension:
Have students experiment with different type of art materials.
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LibraryThing member satyridae
Read in the bookstore, thankfully. I would have been even more disappointed had I bought it. The story was nothing new, the art was not the sort of thing I dig, and the lizards were just annoying. I see that I'm in the minority of reviewers, but this book didn't work for me at all.
LibraryThing member Sullywriter
Clever, inventive, a ton o'fun. Love the double-page spread of Art's exploding skin.
LibraryThing member AbundanceofBooks
Arthur is very formal, very precise, and very good at what he does. He has agreed to let the overly enthusiastic Max paint with him, and maybe learn a thing or two, as long as he doesn't get in the way. Max dives right into painting, but is stopped short by a complete and total lack of
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He has energy, he has drive, he has no idea what to paint. Arthur (not Art!) suggests that Max paint him. Max takes him literally. Art is not pleased by his new technicolor self (though Max thinks he looks fantastic) and his resulting anger causes him to crack! Art's painted scales fly off leaving a powdery chalk pastel and still technicolor Art.

Max tries a fan to blow away the powdery cover, only to reveal... a watercolor version of the painted lizard. Max tries washing Art off, and it works so well that Art turns into a line drawing. Things are not going well and Art tries to stomp off before Max can do any more damage. He didn't stomp fast enough. Max manages to unravel Art, leaving him holding the tail end of a long, squiggly line. Max gets to work reshaping the line into Arthur. First there's a sad, wonky version ("More detail I think."), then ageometric Arthur. With a few more "pointy bits" Art is back but still colorless. Max vacuums up all of the scattered scales (where he's plugging these things in in the middle of the desert, I don't know), throws it in reverse, and hoses Art down with a stream of colors. We're left with a brightly colored stippling version of Art who is also a lot more relaxed.

I wouldn't be surprised if this one wins a Caldecott Honor. I love the large expanses of empty desert, the lovely water color skies, the humorous facial expressions, and the fantastic detail of the lizards. The lizards' bumpy surfaces just beg to be touched. There's an amazing amount of detail and creativity in this book, but it's not my favorite Wiesner story. It's a great book for artists but ok in general. Great illustrations, cute story, but... I don't know. Maybe it will grow on me. I really do like Max and the three lizards helping in the background.

I definitely think this is a great book to bring home from the library, no doubt about it. This might be one of those books you need to spend some time with before deciding to buy it. With it's expansive illustrations (as wide and sweeping as their desert setting) and exuberant little Max, it just might win you over. I give it 4 stars.
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Young Hoosier Book Award (Nominee — Picture Book — 2013)
Georgia Children's Book Award (Finalist — Picturebook — 2013)
Monarch Award (Nominee — 2013)
Utah Beehive Book Award (Nominee — Children's Picture — 2013)
Red Clover Book Award (Nominee — 2012)
Buckaroo Book Award (Nominee — 2012)
Grand Canyon Reader Award (Nominee — Picture Books — 2013)
BILBY: Books I Love Best Yearly (Early Readers — 2014)
Kids' Book Choice Awards (Finalist — 2011)
Golden Archer Award (Nominee — Primary — 2012)
Volunteer State Book Award (Nominee — Primary — 2013)
Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla Award (Outstanding Books of the Year — 2011)
South Carolina Book Awards (Nominee — Picture Book Award — 2013)
Children's Favorites Awards (Winner — 2011)




0618756639 / 9780618756636




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